Woodrow Wilson News & Publications
FOR RELEASE: Thursday, April 27, 2006
CONTACT: Beverly Sanford, (609) 452-7007 x181
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Contact: Robert J. Baird, VP for School-University Partnerships
Contact: Sean Walsh
WOODROW WILSON FOUNDATION “STANDS UP” FOR EXCELLENT HIGH SCHOOLS FOR ALL STUDENTS
WW helps lead national effort to engage all Americans in high school crisis
PRINCETON, NJ—The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation today announced its participation in a national campaign to address America’s education crisis. STAND UP is a community-based coalition of more than 50 organizations, districts and schools around the country, calling on all Americans to demand excellent high schools that prepare every student for college, work, and citizenship.
STAND UP is designed to mobilize parents, teachers, principals, community leaders, concerned citizens, business leaders, policymakers and philanthropists to become part of the solution. The STAND UP Web site (www.standup.org) provides valuable information and resources to help make sure high schools are serving all students well.
The Woodrow Wilson Foundation has joined STAND UP to help bring attention to the efforts of its 14 Early College High Schools, as well as its range of school-university partnership initiatives. These programs bring to bear the resources of institutions of higher education—leading research universities, historically black institutions, and top liberal arts colleges—as well as highly committed local schools. These partners work to bring academic rigor and strong teacher preparation to schools in communities that serve primarily low-income students and first-generation college-goers.
As a new Time/The Oprah Winfrey Show poll reveals, Americans are increasingly troubled by the state of the nation’s high schools. Nine in ten adults in the survey called the dropout rate a serious problem. In the states where Woodrow Wilson’s school-university partnerships are working, as many as one-third of all students—indeed, as many as six in ten of all African-American students and two-thirds of all Hispanic students—do not graduate. Those who do graduate need more education than their grandparents just to maintain the same standard of living, yet only one in three ninth-graders actually leaves high school in four years ready for the rigors of college and the working world.
“Woodrow Wilson’s Early College approach is all about opening doors to bachelor’s degrees for kids from underserved communities. The students in these early colleges are learning to see a four-year degree as a real possibility—in fact, a goal,” said Robert J. Baird, the Foundation’s vice president for school-university partnerships. “We’re preparing students not just to enroll in college, but to succeed in college. This is the key to productive lives and careers for students who have too rarely had opportunities to stretch, to excel.”
STAND UP builds on the growing momentum around high school reform. The STAND UP Web site provides information about the state of the nation’s high schools and offers specific ways for people to become a part of the solution. Visitors to the Web site can:
- Send an email urging governors to support high schools that serve all students well;
- Download a parent toolkit, which provides information and tips about how to make a difference in a teenager’s education;
- Download a community action toolkit, which provides information and guidance on how to mobilize a community for change; and
- Purchase a unique, wearable STAND UP medallion to show support for the hopes and dreams of the nation’s young people. (Proceeds from the sales of the medallion will go to a new fund, the STAND UP Scholarship Fund.)
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The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has its origins in a now-famous fellowship program, begun in 1945, which helped the United States create a great generation of college teachers and intellectual leaders. Today’s Woodrow Wilson continues to cultivate excellence in teaching and learning at every level of education, putting the arts and sciences at the service of democracy.